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The ability to detect amyloid deposits in human tissue is the critical first step in making a diagnosis of amyloidosis. David P. Steensma, MD, offers readers a fascinating history of the Congo red stain (see references), which still remains the most widely used and cost-effective way to identify amyloid deposits in pathology specimens. Although reportedly first used to stain human tissue in 1886 (see H. Greisbach), it would not be until 1922 that the dye’s specificity for amyloid would be exploited (see H. Bennhold). And it would be another five years before the well-known “apple-green” birefringence of Congo red-stained amyloid deposits...